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 Post subject: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:18 am 
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Hello
I just joined the other day after lurking and reading posts for a few months. I hope to become part of the community-- :D
I've been making beats and some songs for almost a year with mainly MIDI controllers and Ableton but want to get something that is more standalone and something that won't have me staring at my computer to make a beat. At first I saw the 303 a while back and thought it would be something good to pickup and try out, sadly I wasn't able to at the time and I kinda forgot about it. A few months later I saw someone using the 404 at a live show, looked it up and thought it maybe just what I needed and could have the workflow I long for..?
A few craigslist searches later and some emails and I was going to buy one from someone in my city. Emailed back and fourth and the dude eventually just ghosted me and there weren't any other offers nearby.
That was a week ago and since then I've looked at more samplers and options that I could have. Mainly I want the standalone workflow and a crisp lo-fi sound. A few people have MPC 1000s and 500s listed for prices that seem to be reasonable and I could pickup. I know the MPC might not have the same effects, well not even close to the ones on the 404 but I'm not sure what choice would better suit the sound I am working towards..
I also was able to find a 404 in a nearby shop that I could buy if I decide that is the best choice
So I leave this post with a few questions that some of you maybe able to help me with--
1. Is the 404 fast and snappy when playing drum samples that are not being sequenced like the MPC's reaction time?
2. For you what workflow do you prefer or think is the best?
3. In terms of portabilty which is best SP-404 or MPC 500?
Cheers! :)


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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:44 am 
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Welcome!

The machines are way different, I'd like to know what are the most important things to you if you're looking to use a single box to make beats...


MPC:

MIDI in/out
better sequencer
more responsive pads
True pitch

SP:

crazy FX (nice lofi like you want)
resampling feature
"quick-key" commands, no menus


If portability is a make-or-break issue, get the 404!

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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:24 pm 
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Yea, they are sooooo different. Kel gave a great breakdown of the main things they are both best at.

I have the 404sx & 500, I love them both, but if I had to choose...I would go with the 404 (I hear the 404 og has better vinyl sim, a lot of people would say go 404 og, I've never used it, but really happy with the sx).

Also with the 500 you have to be careful. People have a lot of issues with them. I have a few issues with mine & I paid $400 (it's mint, fat pads, extended memory & I had a 30 return period, I wanted to reduce risk). Every time I create a new program, reverb is automatically assigned to every sample, which the 500 can't handle, so instead of hearing reverb, all samples only play in the left side & the right side is all distorted. I just remove the reverb, but the point is it can have odd behavior.

Also with the 500, you have to sample in mono to get the most out of it (the same kind of goes with the sp404 due to polyphony, but resampling with either can help with this). When I sample in stereo with the 500, only 3, maybe 4 sounds can play at the same time & effects can't be added (I'll lay down drums, melody & bass, which is the most I have been able to use in 1 beat when sampling in stereo & can't use effects). It's supposed to have the same polyphony as the 1000 & 2500 (32 polyphony), but I can push the 1000 & 2500 FAR, waaaaaaaaaay farther than the 500. I still love it, it's an MPC the size of an ipad & it's great for hip hop/boom bap beats. I just want to point out a few negatives.

I got the 500 to use WITH the 404sx. Together they make an amazing portable pair. 500 for it's great sequencer & the 404sx for it's effects & memory. But then you're paying $700 - $800 (could probably get a better deal). Worth it in my opinion tho, the possibilities with the 2 are limitless & they're small enough to take with you everywhere.

I know everyone is different, but I also feel it's safe to say you can make beats "easier" on the 500. I'm not sure if it chops tighter or if it's sequencer is just tighter, but it took me awhile before I could make decent beats on the 404sx sequencer. The first year I just made beats in resample mode. But once I got the hang of the sequencer & combined it with resampling... WOOO!

You should check out some of the sp battles in the arena, listen to what can be accomplished using nothing but an sp. If you want to gain skill, I gained the most skill using the 404sx out of all my gear. And once you overcome challenges with it, it is a great feeling :mrgreen:

My opinion would be get the sp404......save money.......then get the MPC 1000 with JJOS. If you find making beats on the 404 too difficult you can at least use it for sound design & performance effects with your ABleton beats. But this is an opinion, if you don't like the process or the workflow of either it won't work out.

In terms of portability they are almost the exact same size, if I HAD to choose, the MPC 500 seems a little smaller, lighter & doesn't have knobs that poke out (lost 2 knobs off the 404 pretty fast taking it everywhere with me, all tho replacement knobs are cheap). But both are close to equal when it comes to portability.

Oh & I forgot to add, the 500 starts to whine like a little bitch when it's batteries get low. At least mine does & others have said theirs whine's all the time with batteries. So I change out batteries sooner than needed due to it's whining (meaning the 404 lasts longer on batteries for me).

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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Spring for the mpc1000 man. The 500 is super frustrating to use, and the 404, whilst an awesome performance tool, is fairly crippled as a stand alone production tool.


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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:35 pm 
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yea +1 everyone saying get the 1000 over the 500.
500 is way limited and you can find a used 1000 for like 300-400 bucks.

the 404 is not pressure sensitive so that's something to think about if you want to have dynamic drums. OR you can have multiple pads play the same sound at dif levels.

i like playing drums on either. they both feel pretty much the same to me.

the 404 def feels more immediate tho!

you can also consider the sp-555 over both. it's a beast

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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:47 pm 
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Sharris wrote:
Yea, they are sooooo different. Kel gave a great breakdown of the main things they are both best at.

I have the 404sx & 500, I love them both, but if I had to choose...I would go with the 404 (I hear the 404 og has better vinyl sim, a lot of people would say go 404 og, I've never used it, but really happy with the sx).

Also with the 500 you have to be careful. People have a lot of issues with them. I have a few issues with mine & I paid $400 (it's mint, fat pads, extended memory & I had a 30 return period, I wanted to reduce risk). Every time I create a new program, reverb is automatically assigned to every sample, which the 500 can't handle, so instead of hearing reverb, all samples only play in the left side & the right side is all distorted. I just remove the reverb, but the point is it can have odd behavior.

Also with the 500, you have to sample in mono to get the most out of it (the same kind of goes with the sp404 due to polyphony, but resampling with either can help with this). When I sample in stereo with the 500, only 3, maybe 4 sounds can play at the same time & effects can't be added (I'll lay down drums, melody & bass, which is the most I have been able to use in 1 beat when sampling in stereo & can't use effects). It's supposed to have the same polyphony as the 1000 & 2500 (32 polyphony), but I can push the 1000 & 2500 FAR, waaaaaaaaaay farther than the 500. I still love it, it's an MPC the size of an ipad & it's great for hip hop/boom bap beats. I just want to point out a few negatives.

I got the 500 to use WITH the 404sx. Together they make an amazing portable pair. 500 for it's great sequencer & the 404sx for it's effects & memory. But then you're paying $700 - $800 (could probably get a better deal). Worth it in my opinion tho, the possibilities with the 2 are limitless & they're small enough to take with you everywhere.

I know everyone is different, but I also feel it's safe to say you can make beats "easier" on the 500. I'm not sure if it chops tighter or if it's sequencer is just tighter, but it took me awhile before I could make decent beats on the 404sx sequencer. The first year I just made beats in resample mode. But once I got the hang of the sequencer & combined it with resampling... WOOO!

You should check out some of the sp battles in the arena, listen to what can be accomplished using nothing but an sp. If you want to gain skill, I gained the most skill using the 404sx out of all my gear. And once you overcome challenges with it, it is a great feeling :mrgreen:

My opinion would be get the sp404......save money.......then get the MPC 1000 with JJOS. If you find making beats on the 404 too difficult you can at least use it for sound design & performance effects with your ABleton beats. But this is an opinion, if you don't like the process or the workflow of either it won't work out.

In terms of portability they are almost the exact same size, if I HAD to choose, the MPC 500 seems a little smaller, lighter & doesn't have knobs that poke out (lost 2 knobs off the 404 pretty fast taking it everywhere with me, all tho replacement knobs are cheap). But both are close to equal when it comes to portability.

Oh & I forgot to add, the 500 starts to whine like a little bitch when it's batteries get low. At least mine does & others have said theirs whine's all the time with batteries. So I change out batteries sooner than needed due to it's whining (meaning the 404 lasts longer on batteries for me).

Hey Sharris that's really weird you have polyphony issues with the 500?!?!I used to have the 500 and I had no issues ever,I'd have mad stereo samples and efx,and never had a issue,maybe try upgrading the OS or see if you have pads on mute groups


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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:04 am 
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LORD BEATJITZU 404 wrote:
Hey Sharris that's really weird you have polyphony issues with the 500?!?!I used to have the 500 and I had no issues ever,I'd have mad stereo samples and efx,and never had a issue,maybe try upgrading the OS or see if you have pads on mute groups


Thanks Beatjitzu, I'll check out the os. I know it's not a setting (mute group, mono/poly, ect), but never thought of the os (not sure what os I have). I'm gonna look into this. A lot of complaints about it in the MPC forum, but it's VERY possible it was a bug that was later fixed in an os update (complaints I just looked up are from 2008).

If I find anything out I will report back. You give me hope!!!

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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Thanks for all the replies, I think I've been able to come to a decision on how I'll have everything setup for making beats.
So a few days ago I was checking Offerup for audio equipment and samplers, then I came across a listing that caught my eye. It was a Boss DR-550 for only ten dollars, I don't really have a need a little machine like this but it would be nice to have so I messaged the guy. I also decided it would be a good idea to check out his profile to see if he had anything else for sale that I could use. It turns out that he was selling a working MPC 1000 for $200 since it was 3 or 4 of the buttons on the side of the unit, but they could still be pressed by clicking the button under the shell of the machine. I'm also planning to buy a few 4 track mixers and a turntable from him too since their price is low.
I'm thinking that the MPC might be better for me to make beats on since the pads have velocity and I can expand my setup with an SP later on if I feel the need. I also was looking into the MV-8000/8800 because they come up every now and then but I have no idea what the workflow for one of those is like. Though if I do save anymore to get another machine I'll probably get a 303 or 404 next.
And yeah, if I had the money in any way I would go out and buy a SP-555, it's a beast from what I've seen of it and the combo of actual pads with insane effects make it an amazing piece for production.
I decided to not continue the search for a 500 since they don't seem all too special and could come with a lot of issues if I wanted to buy one used. I know that the 1000 has a usb port on the back, would that be for moving files onto it's internal memory or could it be powered via usb? I heard something about moving things and editing internal memory on the 500 so I thought it would be the most probable use of the one on the 1000.
I'm going to meet the seller on this upcoming Sunday and if I find well priced 404 or a newer MPC I'll buy that instead of this one since it's missing some of the buttons.
A big thanks to all the people who replied, it really helped and I'll be around here and now perhaps the Akai forum too.
After I have it setup I'll post a photo and update here :D


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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:19 pm 
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No, you can't power the 1000 with usb, usb allows you to use the 1000 as a controller & also allows you to transfer samples.

I think that's a good decision Sere, $200 for a 1000 is cheap, as long as it works, but they are easy to repair & you can buy replacement buttons(www.mpcstuff.com sells just about every part you could need, a little over priced tho).

You should look into JJOS. If it doesn't have the free JJOS already installed it would be a good idea to atleast download the free JJOS, the free JJOS is pretty nice. All tho it IS worth it to buy a paid version of JJOS. Not only do they add features like effects, a lot of the features make the process easier & faster.

Teaming up an MPC with an sp is a magical combo. They compliment each other well. Sounds like you got a good plan :)

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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:34 am 
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Been thinking and searching more today and went back over the MV-8000
I may have mentioned it a bit in the last post but I ran across one for sale for a surprising $200, I don't think I really need portability yet and at the point I do I'll probably pick up a 404 or another somewhat small sampler. I want to make beats with a strong grit behind them, I think I heard somewhere that the 8000 or 8800 had some lofi effects but I don't know much about them and here might be one of the better places to ask
Are the pads on the 8000 about as good for drums as the MPC's pads? And could I get a good amount of grit on my sounds with the sampler's affects alone?
And lastly, for sampling vinyl is the MV better than the MPC?


Edit: The guy said he'd be able to do $160 with me asking at all to lower the price so I think this might be a deal :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:37 am 
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Sere wrote:


Edit: The guy said he'd be able to do $160 with me asking at all to lower the price so I think this might be a deal :shock:


Snatch the dudes fucking hand clean off is my advice..that's one hell of a bargain for the
MV-8000 providing it's in full working condition.

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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:21 pm 
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Little bit of an update..
Sadly, the dude ghosted me after I asked where we could meet and then the listing was marked as sold the next day. I was rooting towards getting an MV but I found a craigslist seller for a 404 which I'll be hopefully getting very soon, I guess there is an upside though since it'll be much easier to transport and setup with my gear. Picked up a Gemeni turntable and PS676i as well as a PS676, it may all be starting to come together, I hope at least--


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 Post subject: Re: SP-404 or MPC 500? (Also hello!)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:47 pm 
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Sere wrote:
Little bit of an update..
Sadly, the dude ghosted me after I asked where we could meet and then the listing was marked as sold the next day. I was rooting towards getting an MV but I found a craigslist seller for a 404 which I'll be hopefully getting very soon, I guess there is an upside though since it'll be much easier to transport and setup with my gear. Picked up a Gemeni turntable and PS676i as well as a PS676, it may all be starting to come together, I hope at least--


you made the right choice IMO

OG or SX?

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